What’s your job here at Itad?
I am a Principal Consultant within the Governance and Institutional Strengthening Practice.
What does that involve?
I provide thought leadership across several thematic areas within Itad, including adaptive programming, public sector governance, and digital technologies in development. I do this through developing and winning new business, leading or directing projects, and building our reputation, internal capacity and knowledge base.
How did you get into the field?
By accident. After several years consulting in the energy sector in the UK, I applied for and was offered a two-year Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) placement attached to a DFID education programme in The Gambia – as a systems analyst in the Ministry of Education. This led to my first international development consulting assignment – for UNICEF in Cambodia – after which I never looked back. I spent the next 12 years living and working in a variety of countries before returning to the UK to work for Itad full-time in 2014.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I get the most satisfaction from my work when I can see the evidence or learning I have helped generate inform actual decisions – for example, when clients or stakeholders take action in response to evaluation recommendations intended to help them deliver programmes even better.
What new innovations/methods have you noticed in your sector?
Machine learning is increasingly being used within international development; from helping to spot crop failure or humanitarian crises before they happen, to knowledge discovery and strategic decision making. I am spearheading Itad’s efforts to integrate machine learning within our advanced analytics service offering – watch this space for further announcements in 2020!
Recent highlight/job wins?
Delivering a presentation on Itad’s experience of working adaptively at a Danida seminar on adaptive and flexible development aid in Copenhagen.
Most interesting question you have been asked recently?
What does Itad need to start doing differently to ensure we are still market leaders in 5+ years’ time?
Favourite place you have visited as part of your job?
I’ve been fortunate to have visited some amazing places and couldn’t really claim a favourite. One moment that stands out for me is spending several days visiting schools with the Koh Kong Provincial Education Office in Cambodia – using their speed boat as this was the only way to reach villages in the beautiful steep sided coastal waterways.